NORTHAMPTON, Mass., May 26, 2015 — The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) has awarded L-3 KEO (an L-3 Communications Holdings Inc. company) a $48.7 million contract to develop and build a new, slimmer version of its photonics mast, or periscope, for use on Virginia-class submarines. Under the terms of the contract, L-3 KEO will perform engineering and design work for the lower-profile mast during the first year, with options to produce up to 29 photonics masts over a subsequent four-year period, as well as engineering services and provisioning item orders with a contract maximum ceiling value of $157 million. The contract is part of the Block 4 Low Profile Photonics Mast (LPPM) program, the purpose of which is to reduce the signature of the periscope, making it less identifiable as a U.S. Navy submarine because it appears similar to existing periscopes. "We are very pleased to have been selected to provide the U.S. Navy with a photonics mast that combines the enhanced situational awareness capability it wants with the more stealthy footprint it needs to avoid detection in international waters," said Matthew Richi, president of L-3 KEO. L-3 KEO develops and manufactures specialized equipment, including submarine photonics systems and periscopes, ship fire control systems, visual landing aids, and ground electro-optical and sensor-cueing systems. Its products are used by the U.S. military, prime contractors and other countries.